A long time ago I had one of those embarrassing moments where, once again, I was reminded that it's a terrible idea to leave the house in an awful state of dress for fear of breaking down or crashing, and then being caught with my pants down.
Figuratively speaking of course.
I think I may have blogged about it, but I'm in no mood to find the link, so I'll give the Reader's Digest version. I took the kids to school in John's old pick-up (the one that was burning oil and has since died a horrible death involving broken rods). We were running a bit late, so I wore: a Star Trek Starfleet Academy T-Shirt--complete with cadet on the sleeve, a pair of red bermuda shorts with paint stains, no socks, and brown hiking boots. I don't think I brushed my hair, I just tied a loose pony tail. Anyway, I stopped at a gas station to get gas after dropping off the kiddos, and I was approached by the poster-babe for Who's White Trash in America. She, of the 2-inch black roots and unnatural straw-colored hair, toting a 12-pack of Colt 45 in one arm, and a cartoon of Lucky Strikes under the other, asked me for a ride "back to the trailer park." I guess I deserved it.
That's the kind of experience one has once in a lifetime. I mean, I've never, ever, left the house looking like that again. In fact, I threw away the shorts, and only held on to the Starfleet Academy t-shirt for sentimental reasons. So, confident that I could never possibly attract anyone as weird as that ever again, I went on living my life while keeping a safe distance from those women who seem to be a "little on the trashy side."
As uncharitable as the next statement will be, there is a woman like that who tends to sit in front of me at mass. Let's face it, we are territorial, even in our seating at worship, so I sit in the same place, and she sits in the same place, maybe a pew or two ahead of me. She's a little bit...odd. Crazy died blonde hair, clothes a bit too young for her apparently advanced age (um, lest anyone accuse me of throwing stones, I'm no spring chicken, and really not against the tasteful approach to youthful clothes, ok?). She exhibits other bizarre behaviors, too, such as eating candy during the homily. Very weird. And very noisy, she tends to bring things that are wrapped tightly in hard cellophane, so we have to listen to the crinkling.
Tonight, after 5 or 6 years of exchanging pleasant nods, she decides to speak to us. It was worth the wait. NOT.
Here's the request, in the middle of the consecration, which is the most solemn part of the mass: "Do you have bi-focals? Can I borrow your bi-focals? There's something I gotta read."
Ok, so there are now several things going through my mind. First, what? Clearly, I must have looked at her funny, because she repeated the question. Second, what the heck does she need to read with such urgency during the consecration? I guess she used that time to catch up on her reading. I dunno, maybe listening to prayers and responding at the appropriate time was too much for her. Finally, and this one was the blow to my ego, do I look like I need bi-focals? I can't deny the passage of time.
If I was in a better mood I'd look up a suitable line of poetry about graceful aging or something. Really, though, I'm not in the mood.
But back to the chick. Whatever it was that she had to read was really bugging her, because a little while later she turns around and taps on John's arm, like he was asleep instead of, oh, I dunno, reverently waiting for his turn to go up to communion. "Excuse me, can I borrow your bi-focals? There's something I have to read."
John shot her a look of incredulity that could melt an iceberg. She became agitated and starting waving, WAVING! at Barb to get her attention. It was unsuccessful, because Barb, being of sound mind, chose to not see a hysterical chick waving at her during communion. I wish we could have done that.
We never did see what was so urgent--we ducked out before the blessing to set up dinner for the teens. You can bet I'm going to be sitting in a different spot next week.